Elevation: 8,825 ft.
Ecological niche: mixed coniferous forest
Ownership: USDA U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Kaibab National Forest
Location: North Rim, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Fire Point, North Rim Grand Canyon, AZ
September 27, 2002
I don't know what to do out here. The land is so much more intimidating because of the trees. My field of vision is limited to looking up, finding the sky, or down, tracking my steps. The trees insulate my vision too much to see what is on the horizon. This is such a change from the badlands or from any of the other landscapes we have traveled to. How do I get over this sense of being dwarfed and surrounded?
I think it is time to get out my ultra-suede suit and salt-and-pepper wig. Maybe I can isolate myself from the dominating presence of this land if I displace myself. I am interested how this costume, (complete with high-heeled shoes, panty hose, jewelry, make-up, and a purse) can change how I interact with this space.
I am exhausted! First I walked around in costume balancing a book on my head. The purpose of the book was to correct my posture and to stop myself from constantly looking down. I found that I was forced to walk extremely slowly and to take tiny steps. After that experiment I chopped wood for a while. At first I had a hard time trying not to laugh at the situation I had created for this character: a classy old lady chopping wood with a giant yellow axe. Once a few minutes of chopping passed, a more serious and focused tone brought the chopping to a rhythm. I'd stop only to look at my hands, which were developing blood blisters because of the rings I was wearing.